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Irish students take the Digital Dare

Representatives of the Scottish games and technology industries are travelling to Dublin this week to choose Irish representatives for the Dare to be Digital talent contest - the first time that students outside Scotland have been able to enter the competition.

The judges - who include Irish representatives from companies such as Microsoft Game Studios, Kapooki Games and Vivendi Games as well as the Scottish contingent - will be looking for teams with innovative, creative and realistic concepts for videogames or educational software.

Qualifying teams will be brought to the University of Abertay Dundee for a ten week period over the summer, where they will be given access to expertise and resources in order to build a working prototype and documentation for investors.

The winning teams will be announced in August, with a prize fund of Ã'£5000 offered along with follow-up support to develop the prototypes into real commercial products. A number of other prizes, such as games consoles, have also been donated by Microsoft.

"NCR has supported Dare as it has grown from a local event to an international competition," commented NCR's director of product and interface design, Charlie Rohan, who is among the judges travelling to Dublin. "It's caught the imagination of several key industry players due to its unique and innovative way of bringing through creative talent within the education system and beyond."

"Identifying and nurturing intellectual capital is increasingly important in today's technology environment," he continued, "and Dare sets out to do just that."

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.